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October 13, 2015, 07:00:23 AM
555444 Posts in 42377 Topics by 5447 Members
Latest Member: ManieMcLou Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Television  |  Babylon 5...Any Good? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Babylon 5...Any Good?  (Read 2149 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: October 06, 2008, 09:52:55 AM »

I never got into those TV shows that seemed to me like Star Trek rip off's.
Farscape just seemed too "out there" for me.
Babylon 5 was one that I never actually watched.  I saw commercials for it but always dismissed it as a second rate Star Trek wannabe and never bothered watching it.

So I was curious to know if Babylon 5 is any good.  I watched some clips of it on Youtube and it does seem like a cool show.  Lots of alien races and spaceships.
How is the acting in it?  Are the storylines good?  What's the show actually about?

I was thinking of renting the entire first season to check it out.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 03:02:59 PM by Ash » Logged
Bad Movie Lover

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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 10:11:09 AM »

I never saw it either, but I know it has rabid fans who would tear you apart and feed you to tribbles if they heard you call it a Star Trek rip-off. Apparently there are huge culture wars between Babylon 5 and Star Trek fans about which one is better sci-fi.

It's probably worth giving it a try. I resented the whole idea of "ST:TNG" when it came out, thinking they were trying to do a cheap imitation of a great old show. It didn't take me long to figure out the new show was the real thing, Patrick Stewart was a much more convincing commanding officer, and good 'ol Captain Kirk was actually kind of hokie.

So if it's a good show, it will probably grow on you, and like I say it certainly has its fans.

Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 11:23:53 AM »

IMHO, B5 started out well but became less interesting the longer it went on.  Overall, it was about *as good* as DS9, so if you liked it give B5 a try.

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B-Movie Kraken

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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 01:03:06 PM »

I loved it.  It's not really like Star Trek at all - Star Trek is all about good vs. bad, B5 is all about shades of gray.  Babylon 5 is a space station built as a place for humans and aliens to meet and conduct diplomatic relations.  There's a huge civilian population on board as well.  The main characters are the people who run the station, as well as the alien ambassadors.  The characters are all deeply developed and as the seasons unfold, some develop into tragic heroes.  The galaxy is beset with wars and corruption, it makes for very interesting plots.  There's a story arc that begins early in season 1 and continues right through to the end, it's not like Star Trek where everything is magically reset at the beginning of each episode.  If you miss a batch of episodes, you'll get kind of lost as to what's going on.

So it's got excellent, complex characters, a huge variety of story lines, and an overarching plot structure.  On the bad side, some of the dialog is a bit corny and overblown at times, and the special effects are somewhat lower budget, but I always found them perfectly satisfactory.  In fact, the huge battle at the end of one of the seasons is probably the most spectacular thing I've ever seen.

The last season was very weak in my opinion, as they thought the show would be canceled at the end of the fourth season and they wrapped everything up, but then it got extended for another year.  But the first four are just fantastic.

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The Cat Herder of Badmovies
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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I'm a Mac...

« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 01:47:01 PM »

I'm a big B5 fan.  I liked how it turned out much better than either Star Trek or Star Wars.  The special effects haven't aged as well, but having a good and coherent story more than made up for that.

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Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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We're all just victims of circumstance

« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 01:56:58 PM »

One thing you should really know about B5, you have to watch every episode, including the so-called stand alones, because they all feature some tidbit that fits into the big arc of the show.  JMS (the creator) called it a novel for television, each season is a section of the book and each episode a chapter.

Yes, some of the dialogue is corny (especially the humans) and the effects are early 90's CGI stuff (but some of the ships are quite cool looking).

Watch it all the way through at least twice to pick up on everything and the clues as to whats coming.

There are also 5 made for tv movies that go along with the series.  The pilot, titled The Gathering, and four movies that TNT made.

And you thought Trek isn't cool.
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 01:43:14 PM »

Great show, I loved it.  I'm sure it's budget was less than the Stark Trek serieses, but JMS, who wrote most of the episodes himself (IIRC he did all of season 3 & 4 which is unheard of in tvland) so there is continuity and a sense of the series going someplace.  It actually made me think, very rare for a television series.

If you're unsure, just rent season 1 and realize it gets better.  Season 5 is a bit lame compared to the others, but as Jack said, they had to wrap things up in season 4. 

Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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We're all just victims of circumstance

« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008, 06:49:49 PM »

J. Michael Straczynski  actually wrote 92 of the 110 episodes of the series.  Another thing that makes it different from Star Trek, the B5 novels are all considered canon for the series because even though they were written by different authors, they are all based on outlines by JMS.

JMS may be getting some Oscar buzz pretty soon for The Changeling directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie.  JMS wrote the script and was at Cannes this year when they showed the film.

Not bad for a guy that started his tv writing with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  He also produced and wrote Captain Power and the Real Ghostbusters.

And you thought Trek isn't cool.
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